Telegraph Line Trail

4.9/5 (11 reviews)
Whether it was a telegraph line, early communications between Horseshoe and Bartlett dams, or even a way to speak with the power plant in Childs, we are left with a line of stumps in the ground attempting to tell us the story of what’s known as Telegraph Line Trail.The story goes that in the 1880s, ...Read More
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Highlights of Telegraph Line Trail

Desert Category IconDesert
Scenic Category IconScenic
Highest Elevation
2624 ft
Shape of Trail
Straight Through
Typically Open
Year Round
Best Direction
North
Official Trail Name
42
Nearest Town
Cave Creek
Nearest Services
Cave Creek
Management Agency
Tonto National Forest
District
Cave Creek Ranger District

Overview

Whether it was a telegraph line, early communications between Horseshoe and Bartlett dams, or even a way to speak with the power plant in Childs, we are left with a line of stumps in the ground attempting to tell us the story of what’s known as Telegraph Line Trail.

The story goes that in the 1880s, when Prescott was the capital of the Arizona territory, a telegraph line was erected for communication between Fort Whipple and Fort McDowell. In 1890, when it became the Fort McDowell Reservation, telegraph communication was no longer necessary as the Army personnel were relocated, and the line was ordered to be chopped down.

In May 2005, the Bart Fire closed the entire St. Clair area. One month later, the Cave Creek Complex Fire took center stage. St. Clair faded into obscurity until 2007, when the Tonto National Forest made a brief effort to rehabilitate the area, which was ultimately delayed. Very little happened for the next seven years.

In early 2014, Tonto Recreation Alliance volunteers began brushing work to clear overgrown areas. In late 2015, TRAL started on repairs to sections of the trail and, by February 2016, had connected both ends by repairing the Edge of Earth obstacle. In 2019, the Mountain and Clair fires put a temporary stall on the project. After all the time, energy, and effort, Telegraph Line Trail is open and ready for you to drive! 

Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Guide Overview
31 Waypoints
95 Trail Photos
2 Trail Concerns
11 Community Reviews
1 Video
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